How to Exercise
The most important part of exercise is setting up a routine you can live with. Finding the time to exercise and a few activities you enjoy is key to your long-term success. If you are just starting to exercise, don't worry about coming up with the most efficient training program or taking the trendiest exercise classes. Just find a few athletic things that you enjoy doing, and use them to get your body strong and fit. The fitter you are, the less likely you are to injure yourself while golfing, allowing you to enjoy the game for years to come.
- Make sure exercise is right for you by checking with your doctor. It is always good to get a checkup before beginning a new exercise program. This is particularly important if you have dizziness, arthritis, shortness of breath, chest pain or other medical conditions.
- Find an exercise you enjoy doing. Walking, swimming, dancing or anything else that keeps your body moving and your heart pumping is beneficial. If you prefer, you can take a fitness class such as aerobics or martial arts. Some team sports such as basketball or soccer and individual sports such as tennis also make excellent cardiovascular exercises.
- Begin by stretching. You should stretch your calves, quads, groin and hamstrings at a minimum. You may also want to stretch your shoulders, sides, neck and back. Since your muscles are not warm yet, stretch carefully and slowly, and never bounce. Instead, hold the stretch.
- Spend 5 to 10 minutes warming up. Engage in the exercise you plan on doing, but do it at an easy, slow rate.
- Spend 20 minutes exercising vigorously. Your heart should be pumping at an elevated rate and you should be breathing heavily enough that you can't sing but could still have a conversation. If you get severely short of breath or have a stitch in your side, ease up.
- Spend another 5 to 10 minutes cooling down. Continue to exercise, but move slower and slower until your heart returns to its normal rate. It is recommended that you stretch a second time to prevent injury and improve flexibility.
- Exercise at least three times a week. If you can, vary the activities. For example, go bike riding one day, swimming the next day and dancing a third day.
- Gradually increase the intensity of your exercises. As you improve your strength and cardiovascular health, you will have to work harder to keep your heart rate up. You may also wish to add another exercise day or exercise for a longer period.
Tips & Warnings
- It's all right to start off slow. If 10 minutes is all you can handle when you first begin, just exercise for 10 minutes. The important thing is that you keep improving week after week.